Twenty-five whole-organ recipients treated from 1981 through September 1988 were HIV carriers. Eleven were infected before transplantation, although this was not known until later in 8 recipients. The other 14 were infected perioperatively. Ten of the 25 recipients were infants or children. The organs transplanted were the liver (n = 15), and the heart or kidney (n = 5, each). After a mean follow-up of 2.75 years (range, 0.7-6.6 years), 13 recipients are alive. Survival is 7/15, 2/5, and 4/5 of the liver, heart, and kidney recipients, respectively. The best results were in the pediatric group (70% survival) in which only 1 of 10 patients died of AIDS. In contrast, AIDS caused the death of 5 of 15 adult recipients and was the leading cause of death. Transplantation plus immunosuppression appeared to shorten the AIDS-free time in HIV+ patients as compared to nontransplant hemophiliac and transfusion control groups. Accrual of HIV+ transplant recipients has slowed markedly since the systematic screening of donors, recipients, and blood products was begun in 1985.